The breast cancer tumor suppressor BRCA2 promotes the specific targeting of RAD51 to single-stranded DNA.
ABSTRACT Individuals with BRCA2 mutations are predisposed to breast cancers owing to genome instability. To determine the functions of BRCA2, the human protein was purified. It was found to bind selectively to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), and to ssDNA in tailed duplexes and replication fork structures. Monomeric and dimeric forms of BRCA2 were observed by EM. BRCA2 directed the binding of RAD51 recombinase to ssDNA, reduced the binding of RAD51 to duplex DNA and stimulated RAD51-mediated DNA strand exchange. These observations provide a molecular basis for the role of BRCA2 in the maintenance of genome stability.
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in BRCA2 increase susceptibility to breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. The product of human BRCA2, BRCA2 protein, has a key role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks and interstrand cross-links by RAD51-mediated homologous recombination. Here, we present a biochemical and structural characterization of full-length (3,418 amino acid) BRCA2, alone and in complex with RAD51. We show that BRCA2 facilitates nucleation of RAD51 filaments at multiple sites on single-stranded DNA. Three-dimensional EM reconstructions revealed that BRCA2 exists as a dimer and that two oppositely oriented sets of RAD51 molecules bind the dimer. Single-stranded DNA binds along the long axis of BRCA2, such that only one set of RAD51 monomers can form a productive complex with DNA and establish filament formation. Our data define the molecular mechanism by which this tumor suppressor facilitates RAD51-mediated homologous-recombinational repair.Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 10/2014; · 11.63 Impact Factor
Article: Mediators of Homologous DNA Pairing.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Homologous DNA pairing and strand exchange are at the core of homologous recombination. These reactions are promoted by a DNA-strand-exchange protein assembled into a nucleoprotein filament comprising the DNA-pairing protein, ATP, and single-stranded DNA. The catalytic activity of this molecular machine depends on control of its dynamic instability by accessory factors. Here we discuss proteins known as recombination mediators that facilitate formation and functional activation of the DNA-strand-exchange protein filament. Although the basics of homologous pairing and DNA-strand exchange are highly conserved in evolution, differences in mediator function are required to cope with differences in how single-stranded DNA is packaged by the single-stranded DNA-binding protein in different species, and the biochemical details of how the different DNA-strand-exchange proteins nucleate and extend into a nucleoprotein filament. The set of (potential) mediator proteins has apparently expanded greatly in evolution, raising interesting questions about the need for additional control and coordination of homologous recombination in more complex organisms.Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology 10/2014; · 8.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: During recombinational repair of double-stranded DNA breaks, RAD51 recombinase assembles as a nucleoprotein filament around single-stranded DNA to form a catalytically proficient structure able to promote homology recognition and strand exchange. Mediators and accessory factors guide the action and control the dynamics of RAD51 filaments. Elucidation of these control mechanisms necessitates development of approaches to quantitatively probe transient aspects of RAD51 filament dynamics. Here, we combine fluorescence microscopy, optical tweezers, and microfluidics to visualize the assembly of RAD51 filaments on bare single-stranded DNA and quantify the process with single-monomer sensitivity. We show that filaments are seeded from RAD51 nuclei that are heterogeneous in size. This heterogeneity appears to arise from the energetic balance between RAD51 self-assembly in solution and the size-dependent interaction time of the nuclei with DNA. We show that nucleation intrinsically is substrate selective, strongly favoring filament formation on bare single-stranded DNA. Furthermore, we devised a single-molecule fluorescence recovery after photobleaching assay to independently observe filament nucleation and growth, permitting direct measurement of their contributions to filament formation. Our findings yield a comprehensive, quantitative understanding of RAD51 filament formation on bare single-stranded DNA that will serve as a basis to elucidate how mediators help RAD51 filament assembly and accessory factors control filament dynamics.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor